The reign of Jane is over!
We can’t believe it is time to see Jane Pope, our longest serving member of staff step down from her role, but don’t worry she’s not leaving us just yet.
Jane started as a waking night support worker at Mayfield Children’s Home in 1986 – 35 years ago! In 2006 when PJL acquired Mayfield Childrens Home, Jane worked alongside Chris Coleman (now PJL Head of Development and Commissioning), Leah Thompson (now Director of PJL) and Karli Tompsett (now Rota and Induction Manager) who were also support workers at that time and Janis Thompson (now Director of PJL) who was working in the administration office. In 2006, when the home was under threat of closure, Janis and her business partner Paul Sellars bought the home and Jane began her career at PJL Healthcare Ltd.
When she left, Jane told us that she wasn’t sure it was the job for her when she first started …
“On 5th December 1986 I did my first nightshift at Mayfield Children’s Home. It was very different back then and that first night was very different. Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Not one to give up easily, I decided to give it one more go, and now here I am, still loving it 35 years later!
I have always been amazed at the amount of wonderful staff I’ve worked with over the years, witnessing the great care all our young people receive. A huge thank you to everyone for putting up with me – the fantastic Nightstaff team for my surprise gifts and the Directors for the lovely presents and comments. Thank you everyone.”
Well, we can’t put into words everything that she has done, but here are a couple of recollections from colleagues.
Leah Thompson – Director of Care
“I was 19 years old when I first met Jane at Mayfield Children’s Home, 20 years ago! She was introduced to me as ‘The Surrogate Mum’ and she certainly lived up to that title. From giving me advice to sewing my clothes to dancing the night away at Christmas work parties! Throughout my time working with Jane, she has always put herself forward to work the first night with any new young person moving into the home, to help settle them in, this always created a great repour from the word go.
Jane also supports all new staff and walks them through their first few months of joining PJL Healthcare. She really is one of the kindest people I know and will always help in any way she can.
There will never be another Jane!”
Marina Saayman – Night Staff Manager
“When I started at PJL 6 years ago, Jane had already been here nearly 30 years. She’s always been the mentor – whatever her official title has been! When the Night Staff Manager role was offered to her, she was recovering from a shoulder injury and had reduced her hours and didn’t want the responsibility – so she told them to offer it to me … the rest is history! We have worked closely together as a team, Jane officially the Rota Co-ordinator but supporting us all in every way. Over that time, we have built a great friendship and one of the highlights was Jane’s incredible 60th Birthday celebrations. Such a great time and as always, Jane encouraged us to live life to the full.
Things will be different at Mayfield Children’s Home without Jane, the ‘face’ of the night team – but we’re not ready to let her go completely and look forward to seeing her infectious smile when she comes in for shifts on her new temporary contract.”
Paul Sellars – Director and Owner
My strongest memory of Jane is her smiling face whenever I came into Mayfield and she and Marina would be huddled over a screen or a piece of paper. She always was so positive (sounds like an obituary but it isn’t !).
Also, the Christmas party…. Jane always, year after year, got “stuck in”, she was determined to enjoy herself and bring everybody along with her.
We have not seen the last of Jane, whether she likes it or not she will be back in some form. PJL needs Jane.
So, that says it all; but if we had to summarise what everyone says about Jane, she is the genuine article, the mother figure, bubbly and outgoing, always putting others first. How will we all manage without Jane in the same capacity?
From all of us at PJL, what can we say? ….. We will miss you!